Fixture congestion a worry for Pitso


Mosimane sits on that side in their home games but the rules designate it for the visiting team. He arrived in the auditorium with the middle chair left for him, with Percy Tau on the left and the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) Luxolo September on the right. Mosimane revealed that the only thing that made him and his team back down on the issue of who sits where is because the PSL told him that Sundowns would forfeit the match if they don’t move.

“I was a little bit arrogant but I said (after they told me that), okay I will sit on the left and I can even sit on the stands but we will still win this game,” Mosimane said.

The Brazilians did just that, outclassing Matsatsantsa a Pitori to book a date with Chippa United in the two-legged MTN8 semi-finals next month. Sundowns also have the CAF Champions League semi-final, also played over two legs, against Zambia’s ZESCO United in their hectic schedule in September. They will also start their Absa Premiership title defence against Maritzburg United on September 14. They didn’t start with the other clubs last week because they were in Nigeria playing their last Champions League group match against Enyimba. Sundowns have to play Platinum Stars on September 21, the Chilli Boys in the league four days later and then Bloemfontein Celtic on the 28th. The club will approach the PSL to have games moved.

“I hope that they move them because they were moved for (Orlando) Pirates,” Mosimane said. “We hope that the league will move those matches so that we can represent the country well and have a team in the final.

“Keagan (Dolly) broke down. He couldn’t finish the match (against Matsatsantsa) because he was overloaded in Rio (by the national Under-23 team) where he played three games in 10 days. After the game against Zamalek, he was on the flight to Brazil the next day. The day he lands, he arrives to a 90 minutes game against the (Brasilia) Police. I don’t have a player now. I also lost Leonardo (Castro). I am now pleading to the PSL, can I play the (Champions League) semi-final properly? I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have never had one game shifted at Sundowns (when I have made a request). I hope to be lucky this time like Pirates were.”

If Sundowns fail to have any of their domestic league games moved, the club will play with two sides - one for the league and another for the Champions League. While Sundowns approached the PSL to have their fixtures shifted, Mosimane didn’t speak with Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba to have his players - Dolly, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Thapelo Morena, Tebogo Langerman and Hlompho Kekana - released even though he complained about seeing them go to play a dead-rubber against Mauritania.

“I am the one who was complaining when my players were not in Bafana,” Mosimane said. “What will Bra Shakes say? This guy doesn’t know what he wants? I select his players, he complains. I don’t, he complains! . So I keep quiet.”

Sundowns’ Fixtures in September

10-11: v Chippa United in Port Elizabeth (MTN8 semi-final first leg)

14: v Maritzburg United in Pietermaritzburg (Absa Premiership)

17-18: v Chippa United in Pretoria (MTN8 semi-final second leg)*

16-18: v Zesco United in Zambia (Champions League sem-ifinal first leg)

21: v Platinum Stars in Pretoria (Absa Premiership)

23-25: v Zesco United in Pretoria (Champions League semi-final second leg)

25: v Chippa United in Port Elizabeth (Absa Premiership)*

28: v Bloemfontein Celtic in Pretoria (Absa Premiership)

* Matches that the PSL will be forced to move because they clash with the Champions League. - The Star

Original source: Fixture congestion a worry for Pitso